Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For the love of children's lit

I must admit: I have a mild obsession with children's books.  I love their heart-warming themes, important lessons, simple plots, poetic rhythm, and beautiful artwork.

One collection we have discovered in recent years is written by Jamie Lee Curtis, and illustrated by Laura Cornell.  I love her quirky stories which illustrate fundamental life lessons, all brought down to the entertainment level of a child.  Regarding the artwork, I cannot give enough praise to how creative and charming the illustrations by Laura Cornell are throughout these books.

Some of my favorites are listed below...

Cute story about the trials and tribulations of a 5-yr old and "learning how to work my control panel"  Any mother of a five-year old (or toddler for that matter) will enjoy!

This one might be my favorite. As parents we have a natural inclination to stifle our children's negative emotions, (i.e. 'don't cry' or 'don't be sad') since we cannot bear to see them angry or upset...this book encourages children to process their feelings in a healthier identify and accept all emotions, as phases of everyday normal life!

Adorable story from a child's the eyes of the child, his/her mommy does anything and everything, (i.e. "she cures all the sick...she flies all the planes...she rows all the ships...") This one is also a tear-jerker (i.e. "My Mommy is nice. She never is mean...when I'm asleep all safe in my nest, my mommy stays up and does all the rest").  I am not sure which part is more tear-inducing...the sweet/naive perspective of the child, falsely believing his/her mommy is the best at everything, is never mean, etc., or the contrast between this notion and the frank reality that mommy (at least in my case) HARDLY can do all of these impossible things, much less do them well!!

This story is a parody about our over-zealous achievement culture, and it emphasizes old fashioned values such as good sportsmanship, citizenship, friendship, and encourages the reader to "make the world better for the whole human race"

I love this book for the simple reminder that we should not be afraid to use 'big words' around our little people...we have a tendency to avoid advanced vocabulary around our little ones, but only when we use such words in context, will they learn to broaden their own vocabulary!

Such a charming story that illustrates the enormous strides our children make from infancy to toddlerhood...the narrator reminisces about all of the things she can do now that she could not before...."A four-year-old's memoir of her youth" 

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